Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Pavement Politics

My campaigning, though not exclusively, is for disability access. By access I mean anything from receiving readable communications to venues with sound loops to pubs and restaurants with level entry access or lifts as well as accessible toilets to public transport from which I can enter and alight with minimum difficulty – not just ‘do you have a ramp?’

My campaigning also involves reading and responding to government and local authority consultation documents – a recent one was concerned with the use of motorised wheelchairs and scooters on pavements.

As for pavement safety; this is not an area I’ve covered – apart from my response to motorised wheelchairs and scooters; which, for the record I believe should involve mandatory training and the vehicles should be insured – the same should apply to cyclists.

The campaigning I do really does take up most of my time; indeed, it increasingly encroaches into my social life. However, if some of the cyclists on U75 were to throw up some suggestions as to how we can make roads safer for cyclists to use, I’d be receptive.

Personally, the two main problems, three if you count dog shit, I encounter on pavements is too many cyclists and crossfalls that are too steep – from kerb up. The first, cyclists, terrify me; and, the second, steep crossfalls, make it impossible for me to independently push. Ironically, one of the few relatively even surfaces in London runs along the South Bank. However, more and more cyclists are using this route; and, the already crowded nature of the place makes it very hazardous for me as a wheelchair user.

Since there are far more cyclists than wheelchair users in London I don’t expect things to get any better for me.

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